“Every musician in the world loves Link Wray,” observes Black Keys singer/guitarist Dan Auerbach. “I don’t know why the rest of the world hasn’t figured that out.” Add to that a film that shares its title with Wray’s influential instrumental, and you’ve got me primed to settle in for a documentary about one of the music world’s great unsung heroes. Alas, directors Catherine Bainbridge and Alfonso Maiorana chose to follow the safer path marked Heritage over the riskier route marked Creativity. In addition to Wray, the film touches lightly on Buffy Sainte-Marie, Charlie Patton, Mildred Bailey, and numerous other musicians. All of them are prime subjects for individual documentaries, but what we have here is less an exploration of personal artistry than an entry-level history lesson. The film’s one shockingly non-PC move is its use of the word “Indian” over the more socially acceptable “Native American.” With Steven Van Zandt, Robbie Robertson, Quincy Jones, and Martin Scorsese.
Length: 1 hour, 43 minutes